Sony FE 28-70mm OSS
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Sample Images top
This Sony 28-70mm OSS is a compact, lightweight general purpose zoom for Sony's full-frame E-mount cameras, like the A7R II.
Except for the metal mount and glass glass, it's all plastic.
For under $400, it works surprisingly well. If you're an online expert who'd rather spend his time counting pixels than taking pictures, then shut up and go buy the Zeiss lenses for your Sony, but for general use, this plastic lens is easy to buy, easy to carry and easy to shoot. While some might spend time picking apart its inferior optics compared to the Zeiss, I'd rather go out and make great pictures. I'd have no problem making great shots with this lens that I could license to major international clients like McDonald's and Merck Pharmaceuticals (my two most recent sales). Your camera and lens never matter.
It's super-sharp in the center where it actually matters, even at 42 megapixels.
This works on all full-frame and crop-sensor Sony E-mount cameras, which are the NEX and A7 series, among others.
It will not work on or mount to any Minolta MAXXUM or Sony A-mount SLRs or DSLRs.
This is a full-frame lens and is reviewed as such.
You may make the usual inferences for use with crop-sensor cameras.
Easy to carry and use.
Fast, silent auto and manual focus.
Made of plastic.
Sony FE 28-70mm OSS. enlarge.
Sony calls this the Sony FE 28–70 mm F3.5–5.6 OSS.
FE: Full-frame coverage lens for Sony E mount.
OSS: Sony's trademark for its Image Stabilization: Optical Steady Shot.
Sony 28-70mm OSS internal construction. Aspherical and ED.
9 elements in 8 groups.
3 aspherical elements.
Silent internal focus; nothing moves externally as focussed.
Sony FE 28-70mm OSS.
7 rounded blades.
Stops down to f/22~36.
Close Focus top
1.5 feet (0.45 m).
As close as 1' (0.3m) at the 28mm setting.
Maximum Reproduction Ratio top
1:5.3 (0.19x), rated.
Focal Length top
On APS-C (aka DX or 1.5x or crop-frame) cameras, it gives angles of view similar to what an 45-105mm lens would give on a 35mm or full-frame camera. See also Crop Factor.
Angles of View top
34º ~ 75º diagonal on full frame.
23º ~ 54º diagonal on APS-C.
ALC-SH132 plastic bayonet petal hood included.
Honestly, the bubble wrapper that is included is actually a much better case than the vinyl sacks that come with the more expensive Sony lenses.
The included bubble-wrap envelope both protects the lens, and lets you see what's inside.
2.85" (72.5 mm) diameter x 3.27" (83 mm) long.
10.285 oz. (291.6 g) actual measured weight.
Sony specifies 10.5 oz. (295g).
Sony Part Numbers top
SEL2870 (complete lens kit).
ALC-SH132 (replacement hood).
ALC-SH132 plastic bayonet hood.
Price, USA top
$398, September 2015. (47,429 yen in Japan).
Box, Sony FE 28-70mm OSS.
The Sony FE 28-70mm OSS is a great handling, light weight and inexpensive lens. No, it isn't as sharp as ZEISS in the corners at crazy settings no one uses, but so what: lab technicians neither buy nor create great photos. Photographers do.
It is super-sharp in the center where it actually matters, even at 42 megapixels.
Focus is fast, silent and accurate.
Autofocus is very fast on an A7R II.
Just grab the focus ring anytime for instant manual-focus override — but only if you've set your camera to DMF focus mode.
Bokeh, the quality of out-of-focus areas as opposed to the degree of defocus, is good.
You won't often see anything out of focus unless you're close and shooting at 70mm at f/5.6, but if you do have things out of focus, they aren't distracting.
Here are full-frame sample shots wide open from headshot distance. Click for the original © files:
If you're on a desktop computer and look at the original files, notice how sharp they are in the center, which is the only part of the each photo actually in focus.
The Sony 28-70 OSS has no visible distortion most of the time as shot on the Sony A7R II, which is probably correcting it.
Oddly, while most zooms have barrel distortion at the shorter end and pincushion at the longer end and no distortion in the middle, this Sony is the opposite. This lens has no visible distortion at the ends of its zoom range and some pincushion in the middle. This is as shot on an A7R II, which is probably correcting it.
For more critical use, use these values in Photoshop's Lens Distortion tool to correct them. These aren't facts or specifications, they are the results of my research that requires hours of photography and calculations on the resulting data.
© 2015 KenRockwell.com. All rights reserved.
Sony FE 28-70mm OSS.
Ergonomics are swell. Especially nice is the zooming, which is very slow and therefore easy to set precise cropping.
The focus ring isn't connected to anything; it's just an encoder which hopefully will be interpreted properly by your camera to drive the electronic focus motors.
On my A7R II manual-focus is mediocre. It works, but it feels disconnected because it is.
This is a nice to-the-point zoom. It's lightweight and handles well. It's a joy to carry and use.
Falloff is completely invisible as shot on the A7R II, which I presume is correcting much of it.
I've greatly exaggerated the falloff by shooting a flat gray target and presenting it against a gray background:
There's no problem with vignetting even with thick filters, even on full-frame.
There's no need for thin filters; any regular thick or rotating filters work great.
Focus breathing (the image changing size as focused) is mostly of interest to cinematographers who don't want the image changing size ("breathing") as the lens is focused among different subjects.
I can't see any focus breathing; the image stays the same size as focussed in and out.
This is ideal for drama cinematography.
Flare resistance is excellent. I see no ghosts unless I really, really push it:
Solar disc in image on right, 38mm at f/7.1.
You'd go blind looking into the sun and exposing for the shadows as I did here, and even if you do, the worst I can get is a couple of green circles.
Bravo! This is a benefit of the simple optical construction of this zoom.
There are almost no lateral color fringes, at least as shot on the A7R II.
There may be a bit blue-red at 28mm, but it's gone at longer focal lengths.
Macro gets reasobaly close. Here's what you get on full frame:
Genuine Rolex Submariner at close-focus distance at 70mm at f/8 on full frame.
Crop from above at 100%. If this is about 6" (15cm) on your screen, printing the complete image at this same high magnification would result in a 80 x 55" (6.5 x 4.5 feet or 2.1 x 1.4 meter) print!
Sony FE 28-70mm OSS. enlarge.
The mount really is slightly pink.
The Sony 28-70 OSS is mostly plastic, except for the glass and the metal mount. It looks and feels like plastic, which it is.
Rubber covered plastic.
Moisture seal at mount
Printed on sticker on bottom of barrel.
Noises When Shaken
Rear Light Baffle
Thailand, just like the ZEISS T* 1,8/55mm FE.
Made in Thailand.
Image sharpness depends more on you than your lens, and lens sharpness doesn't mean much to good photographers. It's the least skilled hobbyists who waste the most time blaming fuzzy pictures on their lenses, while real shooters know that few photos ever use all the sharpness of which their lenses are capable due to subject motion and the fact that real subjects are rarely perfectly flat.
This Sony 28-70mm is extremely sharp in the center where it matters, but field curvature makes it less sharp in the sides and corners if you're shooting test charts and counting pixels. See the original samples at bokeh if you'd like to see how sharp it is.
It's super-sharp wide open in the center, and gets softer at the sides, especially wide-open.
Sony's Sony MTF curves:
Spherochromatism, erroneously called color bokeh by laymen, isn't usually seen in slow and wide-angle lenses
I can't see any in this lens.
Out-of-focus highlights should stay neutral.
Sunstar, f/16. bigger.
With its 7-blade rounded diaphragm, this Sony 28-70mm OSS makes crummy sunstars, if any at all. Good luck; this is the best I could do.
This is an inexpensive plastic lens which works very well considering its price.
Yes, the Zeiss lenses are sharper if you spend your life indoors looking at the corners of zoomed-in images on computer screens, but for people who actually get out, shoot and hang one-man shows in galleries, this lens is more than sharp enough. It's very sharp in the center where it matters.
What really matters is if spending $1,000 less to get this lens lets you make a trip someplace awesome, and lets you bring back fantastic shots you wouldn't if you were wasting your time saving for a more expensive lens that will still take the same pictures.
But wait: more expensive zooms are heavier, and the more you have to carry, the less refreshed and relaxed you'll be. I make my best photos when I'm relaxed and in a good mood, not when I'm weighted down with too much gear.
This lens' light weight and low price just might help you make better pictures than you would with a more expensive lens!
See also Is It Worth It?
This 28-70 OSS is small, light, inexpensive and handles well.
It will take splendid photos.
Personally I'd get better lenses if they are for an expensive full-frame camera, but if you're considering this, yes, it takes swell photos and it's fun and easy to carry and use.
This ad-free website's biggest source of support is when you get yours via these links to it at Adorama; I'd also get it at Amazon or at B&H. When you use those or any of these links to approved sources when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live, it helps me keep adding to this free website — but I receive nothing for my efforts if you take the chance of buying elsewhere. Unlike a bottle of milk or a CD, Sony doesn't seal its boxes at all, so you have no idea if you're getting a used, returned, incomplete or damaged product if you risk buying at retail. Never buy at retail. I use the sources I do because they have the best prices, service, return policies and selection— and they ship from secure remote warehouses where no customers or salesmen can get their sticky hands on your new camera before you do.
Thanks for helping me help you!
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